Today, disgraced former FIFA vice president and current Minister of Works and Infrastructure sarcastically (well, it must have been sarcastically) offered Opposition Leader Keith Rowley the use of the Centre of Excellence “for free”, after Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs officially denied the request of Opposition PNM to hold their annual post-Budget public meeting at Piggott’s Corner in Belmont on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Commissioner Gibbs, who came under heavy criticism by the Opposition last month when he “misspoke” about the Emergency Powers Regulations in a live televised state of emergency news conference, today threw the proverbial book at the PNM’s request, once again citing the Emergency Powers Regulations.
Some may have observed the irony in the fact that Rowley’s rejection of Warner’s offer came on the same day that a Daily Telegraph article reported that “Warner, the controversial former vice-president of Fifa, appears to be recorded telling other members of the Caribbean Football Union members they must decide whether to accept the ‘gifts’ of $40,000 (£25,000) each, and urging them to vote for Bin Hammam rather than Sepp Blatter in the Fifa presidential elections.”
The Telegraph story ran with a link to this video, and claimed that the “footage was recorded at the Hyatt Hotel in Trinidad on Mar 11 2011”.
Today, almost exactly seven months later, Eric St Cyr resigned.
Warner had previously called for the resignation of the Integrity Commission Chairman.
On May 20, just nine days after the video on the Telegraph website was reportedly captured, the Trinidad Express published this story, reporting that Warner had “called on President George Maxwell Richards to revoke the appointment of chairman of the Integrity Commission Dr Eric St Cyr” on the grounds that St Cyr mis-stepped when he said that “Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar should have stayed at a hotel instead of the private residence of her good friends, the Gopauls” after she won the May 2010 general elections.
Persad-Bissessar’s stay at the Gopauls’ house was called into question after the family’s company, Gopaul and Co, won a bid for a $40 million National Petroleum transport contract.
Today, St Cyr resigned. Warner “welcomed” the news, saying that St Cyr had “lowered the bar in terms of integrity itself”.
Cheap shot from the football mafioso? Maybe. After all, when he quit as a FIFA vice president, soccer’s governing body dropped the bribery investigation of him, saying the “presumption of innocence is maintained.”
Will Warner extend the same “presumption” to St Cyr? Who knows? It’s only as unlikely as every other link between the two.